Bersih, a group of apologists and Trojans with a loud bang, but with little or no policy structures or policy initiatives in place. The group is bent on confrontation with government. They are nothing more than a flash mob thus far, showing no signs of political maturity of a political entity they claim to be. A flash mob seeking to overthrow government outside the ballot box.
Bersih’s campaign is one that is hate ridden and xenophobic to the core. None of Bersih leadership have the courage to come out and tell it openly like it is. This is an anti Malay and anti Islamic campaign. It has nothing to do with equality, egalitarian principles, democracy or civil societies. It is a naked attempt at a power grab outside the ballot box.
Ambiga Srinivasan at the head of this group is a lawyer by profession. She demonstrates none of the skills or training imbued in her as a lawyer. Nor does she demonstrate at an even a superficial level, an understanding of the need for evidence, in order to advance her many far fetched claims against government in Malaysia.
The essential ingredient and platform for resolving legal disputes in her view and from her actions thus far is to riot, to create a level of disruption and to disseminate falsehoods out of which she hope government will fall into her lap.
Ambiga Srinivasan is on record as having said the following to a public gathering:
“ When people can change the Government, that is when the power come back to you“(sic).
She does not say which government. She does not acknowledge the government. Being a lawyer she ought to know what inferences she is inviting readers to draw from her comments in this regard. Or does she? I suspect not.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL PARTIES-BERSIH UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE
The people of Malaysia have ushered new governments in at least 12 times since its independence from Britain. They changed it for the first time in 3 centuries on 31 August 1957. On that day change moved from the British colonial administration to the independent government of the Tengku Abdul Rahman’s Alliance. Bersih and its followers though, do not accept the verdict of a majority. That is because that majority are Malays and Muslim to a large part.
Government and political parties are two different things. Ambiga and Bersih do not understand that difference. A political party is not government. Government even if from the same political party can be different in each of its compositions (all 12 of them in Malaysia’s context). Ambiga does not understand that. And she is a lawyer.
One day in Dataran Merdeka can shatter all that has been built up over 60 years. Chinese and Indians too, merchants especially will suffer the consequences of that riot she plans. So too will the professionals like Ambiga amongst them. This is Chin Peng’s call from all those years ago. “We must do it for our future and the future of our children”.
60 odd years on he still calls these shots from his death bed in Bangkok. A new generation oblivious to the horrors of May 13 and the Chinese communist insurgency play out the various scenes from that bloody pantomime over and over again without regard for its consequences. It repeats that the deficits of the opposition will be cured again in the same way it occurred decades ago on May 13 and during the decades of the communist insurgency. This is an insurgency. It is a low level, intense conflict where the arms deployed are insults, provocation, incitement and some precipitous violence.
What Ambiga perhaps meant in her statement above but did not have the courage to say is this: ” When non Malays change a Malay government, power will come back to the non Malays“. She actually says “the power”. Does that mean the power they enjoyed as non Malays before independence? or the power they enjoyed immediately post independence, where the British ruled through their proxy of a lame Tengku Abdul Rahman?
Ambiga is as racist as the Nazi who suggested that Hitler could not have been an anti semite because his grandfather was a Jew as was his personal chef.
Ambiga accuses the Barisan Nasional (BN the ruling political party) of rigging elections with the statement that the elections held in Malaysia were ‘not free or fair’. Yet she voted. So too did her colleagues in opposition at the last several general elections. Her allegations thus far are made through the alternative media without a scintilla of evidence to back up those claims of hers that the elections in Malaysia are ‘not free or fair’.
TO THE BARISAN’S CREDIT ARE BERSIH’S FLAWS AND OMISSIONS
For all its faults, and to its credit it must be said that the Barisan has delivered to Malaysians across its divided spectrum since independence in 1957, the electoral platform for multi party elections, by embracing the very same machinery for the purpose they inherited from the British and Australians.
In addition it must be said for the BN that, they are at least willing and have demonstrated a capacity and readiness to negotiate on issues relating to potential weaknesses in the electoral laws, processes and procedures. But how far are they able to go without a legal challenge? How far can they go without the cooperation of those like Bersih who snipe from the sidelines and who are found terribly wanting when it comes to demonstrating their bona fides and proofs. Where is the evidence?
Closely allied to Bersih in its campaigns of smear and misinformation is the DAP. A Chinese nation within a political party complete with its unapologetic displays of its Chinese characters, its cultural symbols wrapped around a political ideologies manifest in its literature to the exclusion of the rest of Malaysia that is not Chinese.
Much like the DAP Ambiga’s Bersih movement is guilty of belting out anti Malay rhetoric as its principal and central political policy. Bersih is devoid of any structured or costed policy alternatives to succeed as an alternative government they aspire to be. Nothing transparent for the public to analyze and to assess.
All that Bersih has to date delivered is the pyrotechnics of a street riot in July 2011 called Bersih 2.0. Their policies consist of rhetoric in all its borrowed forms that simply says “trust us and we will deliver a better future for Malaysians of all races”. Echoes of the great betrayal by Lee Kuan Yew in 1965. Echoes of a more recent Egypt and Syria.
At the centre of all things opposition in Malaysia is the Pakatan Rakyat. The driving force behind Pakatan is Parti Keadilan Rakyat or better known by its acronym PKR. At its centre and beating heart is its leader (some say charismatic) is a magnet for trouble, negativity and PR disasters one Anwar Ibrahim. Ambiga and Bersih appear to be suffering a burn out at an equally alarming rate as Anwar for much the same reasons.
A HISTORY OF UNDER ACHIEVEMENT AND FAILURES-ITS ALL ABOUT EVIDENCE BUT WHERE IS IT?
At the core of the oppositions attack on government is the age old and tired theme of “corruption”. It is a word that has no proper definition in legislative terms in Malaysia. If it has one it is opaque, vague and incapable of effective application in a court. But it has much meaning as many like Ambiga will argue. That being the case, Malaysia’s legal fraternity and many of its judicial officers have to answer for their creativity in interpreting the legislation in the face of a legislative void, which fails to identify or define the term corruption adequately and precisely for it to be effectively or justly applied.
The head of Bersih, that civil societies funded Trojan horse, Ambiga Srinivasan, herself a lawyer and former president of the Malaysian Bar has failed dismally to bring any action against government and it many agencies she accuses of corruption. Nonetheless she continues with her tirades of corruption against the Barisan government. Nothing in admissible evidence to show for her far fetched claims has ever been produced, if it indeed does exist. No procedural steps to take her claims to a properly constituted court. No evidential backing for her claims and accusations but a “wait and see”. Nothing but rhetoric, rhetoric and more poisonous rhetoric.
PUT UP OR SHUT UP-ITS IN OUR COLLECTIVE INTERESTS NOT SIMPLY BERSIH’S
Ambiga is on the record as having alleged that the elections in the east Malaysian state of Sarawak was not free and fair. In fact she goes further as to state that elections throughout Malaysia have not been free and fair at all. Yet she fails to identify the evidence upon which she relies, to make her claims of corruption against government, in particular the electoral commission.
If Ambiga does possess that evidence of corruption, that smoking gun, she has failed dismally and has shied away from prosecuting the matter in an open court. One must ask why. If the government is as corrupted as Ambiga claims it is she must more than complain or make wild allegations against government. She is after all a lawyer and former president of the Malaysian Bar and an officer of the courts.
Ambiga has a moral obligation and an overriding duty amongst other things to return the Datukship she “earned” through a massive self serving lobbying process she nurtured. The Datukship she holds is inextricably linked with all things Malay which includes the roles and dignity of the sultans of each state and the Yang Di pertuan Agong. She can’t have it both ways. It is disingenuous and patently dishonest of her to continue to enjoy the benefits of the Datukship whilst condemning and disparaging everything it stands for.
Having now brought that sacred Malay institution into disrepute with her conduct she must either put up or shut up.
As an officer of the Federal Court of Malaysia Ambiga and her cohorts in this radical policy free opposition has an overriding obligation to the truth and to uphold the laws of the country. In simple terms this means that if she has evidence of corrupt practices or irregularities relating to the process of elections she should have prosecuted the matter in an open court with the evidence she possesses if she has any. Thus far there has been no lodgement of any suit against the government, electoral officials or the election commission.
Ambiga cannot hold on to evidence that she claims exists. Evidence she claims to hold in her effort to discredit a valid and lawfully elected government. By failing to disclose that evidence (if any) she relies on, she holds herself in contempt. Parliament has the right and the power to summon her before both houses, to compel her to prove her claims of corruption and ‘rigged elections’. This is because by her public venting of her tirades against government she has brought parliament into disrepute.
RIGGED ELECTIONS-WERE THEY NOT RIGGED IN THE 5 OPPOSITION CONTROLLED STATES AS WELL THEN?
Ambiga and for that matter Anwar and the DAP all of who sing from the same hymn sheet and from the same page on election rigging, appear quite content to occupy their non seats in parliament as non Barisan governments at state level. The appear content to occupy their seats as individual and collective opposition in federal parliament. None of them appear shy or conscious enough to vacate their seats or to disentitle themselves to the many benefits and privileges that go with a parliamentary seat and the privileges that go with it. Yet, they continue to complain the elections were rigged. If they were rigged the results must be that their own seats and the state governments they control are by their own call, unlawful.
Selangor is a prime example of how shameless the position of the opposition is in this respect. If they, the opposition and Bersih in particular, did for a moment believe in their claims of rigged elections, they have an obligation to themselves and to their constituents to vacate those seats in parliament. If they don’t they must be tainted by the same allegations they make against the BN of having benefited from elections that were rigged, ‘not free or fair’. No comment thus far from either Ambiga, Anwar or Kit Siang.
I LOVE ME. WHO DO YOU LOVE?
Ambga and Anwar are two people with ‘big tickets’ on their own self assessments. They are two people who hold exceedingly high opinions of themselves. Narcissistic in a word.
Both having been passed over by their peers and, not too soon one,of for good reason, we might add have will have an axe to grind against the whole world.
Ambiga is known to have had lobbied Pak Lah (Abdullah Badawi the former Prime Minister of Malaysia) for appointment to the hallowed post of a judge. She was soundly rejected by her peers. She has not quite forgiven the government blaming Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed for interfering in the process. Yet she courts Dr. Mahathir’s daughter as an ally and friend.
Tun being the perennial bogeyman of Malaysian politics has been the target of much vitriol and bile directly by Bersih and its followers. Again none of the allegations against Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed have been supported by any substance in the form of admissible evidence by the opposition. That is not to say the allegations have no merit. Ambiga’s ambitions for power are likewise not supported by any evidence of her ability or talents to be able to administer a melting pot as diverse and volatile as Malaysia is.
Ambiga and through her Bersih, has demonstrated no capacity for probity, personal or professional integrity or for policy making. Her personal track record as a lawyer is only adorned by her relationship to a former judge in Malaysia and her Tenure as president of the highly incestuous Malaysian Bar at the governing level.
The quality of her work as a lawyer from the available evidence, of how she managed those matters over which she had conduct, whilst in the employ one of the larger Malaysian law firms, leaves a lot to be desired. However and in defence of her capabilities,her work is at best above average when compared to the standards of the rest of the Malaysian Bar. And that is being generous. But there are those who believe she can walk on water like they did with Anwar.
In this respect Anwar and Ambiga are birds of a feather. Anwar one might recall was once deputy prime minister who believed he would have to do a Napoleon and crown himself before his time lest the kingmaker should change his mind. And that opportunity in his mind could not have come too soon. He gambled his political fortunes away in that one moment of hubris and utter vanity. Ambiga cut out of the same cloth it appears is throwing her all into the Bersih attempt to overthrow government for much the same reasons.
Where merit fails to deliver and it is not the criteria, she like Anwar and their partners in the Pakatan, will make it a casualty. “Never mind the quality just feel the width” (Groucho Marx). The Bersih and opposition campaigns have that feel to it that it inevitably draws on the old saw “never let the truth get in the way of a good story”. Tragically that appears to be the creed of much of the so called alternative media in Malaysia as well who support this opposition
As is the case with allegations of “Corruption” the opposition or Pakatan has also failed to secure a scalp from government which would prove beyond doubt (on the criminal standard) that there is wide spread corruption in government circles as alleged.
The resignation of a minister recently over allegations of misappropriation of public funds is being touted as an opposition initiative to root out corruption in government. On the contrary, informed observers of government and the Westminster system will say otherwise, that Sharizat’s resignation is part of the convention of cabinet solidarity and in keeping with the conventions of integrity in government. Where there is a well founded suspicion of any impropriety, the minister it is said, must or will step down to maintain the integrity of government. Not so according to the opposition. Their standards are different.
Anwar remains at the helm of PR and PKR inspite of the many scandals that plague him and his coalition. Ambiga Srinivasan and other members of the so called opposition movements like Raja Petra Kamaruddin all have loud rattling skeletons in their closets exposed. Yet they choose to remain where they are. Ambitious and destructive to the core desperately wanting to be government.
In concluding I will add this quotation from a statesman of the past who knew a thing or two about hatred. And he belonged in the same right wing camp of American politics that Ambiga and Anwar subscribe to today:
“When your enemy hates you he does not win. You hate him and he wins and you destroy yourself“. Richard Millhouse Nixon former US President on his exit from the White House in 1974.